By Kerry Smith
Study: April is the best month to sell a home – more buyer interest, less competition, higher list prices and faster sales – and given market conditions right now that strongly favor sellers, there may never be a better time for homeowners to post a for-sale sign in their yard.
SANTA CLARA – In today’s market, it seems as if it’s always a good time to sell a home because they’re selling fast, often sight unseen. However, this month, depending on the city, may be the best time of the best times to sell a home, according to realtor.com’s 2021 Best Time to List analysis.
From April 18-24, debuting home sellers should see more buyer interest, less competition from other sellers, a faster sale and a higher listing price, the study suggests.
To determine the optimum time to list, the study considered competition from other sellers, median listing prices, time it takes to sell, likelihood of price reductions and interest from buyers measured by views per property on realtor.com’s website. Because of COVID’s disruption in 2020, the analysis included 2018-2019 listing data.
“Unlike 2020 when COVID upended the spring home-buying season and pushed buyer interest to later in the year, this year’s housing market is following more typical seasonal trends,” says realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “With half as many homes available for sale this year than last, sellers are well positioned for a quick sale at top dollar. However, for most sellers, listing sooner rather than later could really pay off with less competition from other sellers and potentially a higher sale price. They’ll also avoid some big unknowns lurking later in the year, namely another possible surge in COVID cases, rising interest rates and the potential for more sellers to enter the market.”
However, while that April sweet spot for listing a home may be true for most Florida metro areas, it’s not so consistent in South Florida. According to realtor.com’s analysis, the best day of the year for a seller to list a home in a major Florida metro is:
- Jacksonville: April 4
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach: July 4
- Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford: April 25
- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.: April 25
What makes the week of April 18 stand out?
- Higher price: Homes listed next week typically sell 2% higher than the average week and 10.4% higher than at the start of the year. If 2021 follows the typical seasonal trend, a median priced home listed next week could sell for $7,500 above the average week and $36,000 more than it would have in early January.
- Strong buyer demand: Homes typically get 11% more views on realtor.com than the average week throughout the year.
- Less competition: Homeowners who listed during the week of April 18 in 2018 and 2019 saw 5% fewer sellers on the market compared to the average week throughout the year.
- Faster sale: Historically, homes listed during this week sold 14.1% faster than the average week. In 2021 terms, this would translate to selling in just 59 days – eight days faster than homes listed in other weeks, on average.
A downside to waiting?
While waiting a few months to list a home may be fine, some potential housing market shifts could lessen homeowners’ current advantage. Rising mortgage rates, which realtor.com forecasts will reach 3.4% by the end of the year, could dampen buyer demand later in the home-buying season.
In addition, improved vaccination rates could also bring more competition if an uptick in homeowners decides that it’s now safe to make a move.
“It’s a seller’s market right now, but you still need to ensure your home makes a great first impression, especially if you want to get the best price for your place,” says Rachel Stults, deputy editor for realtor.com. “The key is zeroing in on what buyers want. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, buyers are looking for more space – or flexible space they can transform into what they need.”
© 2021 Florida Realtors®